France vs Switzerland: Kylian Mbappe misses penalty as world champions exit Euro 2020

  • Kobe Tong

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France vs Switzerland is one of the greatest games of all time.

Switzerland vs France carnage

There, we said it, but matches of such monumental drama seldom come around at an international tournament, never mind when it's a knockout clash involving the reigning world champions.

But alas, a fixture that many had tipped to be an easy win for France before a ball was kicked in Bucharest turned out to be the most dramatic and gripping clash of Euro 2020 so far.

And on an afternoon that also saw Spain run away 5-3 victors over Croatia across 120 minutes of absolute carnage in Copenhagen, trust us when we say that's no small statement.

France vs Switzerland match reaction | Euro 2020 (Football Terrace)

France thought they'd won it...

The wheels were set in motion for chaos when Haris Seferović upset the applecart by firing the Swiss into a first-half lead, turning Clement Lenglet into a step ladder to score an emphatic header.

And it looked as though Vladimir Petković would go 2-0 up after the break when Benjamin Pavard conceded a penalty, but Hugo Lloris was equal to Ricardo Rodriguez's spot-kick with a fine save.

It was a pivotal moment that seemed to light a fire in France's belly with the world champions completing a turnaround that many assumed would see them canter into the quarter finals.


Switzerland's mind-blowing fight back

Karim Benzema helped himself to a quick-fire brace, featuring a stunning equaliser that drew Dennis Bergkamp comparisons, before Paul Pogba converted his own Goal of the Tournament contender.

However, in the spirit of Croatia's own dramatic comeback earlier in the day, Switzerland sent the footballing world into delirium with an outrageous fightback from 3-1 down to force extra time.

Seferović jangled French nerves by pulling a goal back with his second header of the night, but it was Mario Gavranović who sparked unbridled emotion by smashing home a late equaliser.


Euro 2020: News, Groups, Fixtures, Dates, Tickets, Odds And Everything You Need To Know

Extra time and penalties

As such, the two great European nations ploughed into an additional 30 minutes in which Les Bleus desperately searched for a winning goal with Kylian Mbappe spurning some massive chances.

And with neither side able to break the deadlock, the match trundled all the way to penalties, which went as followed:

1. Goal - Switzerland 1-0 France

2. Goal - Switzerland 1-1 France

3. Goal - Switzerland 2-1 France

4. Goal - Switzerland 2-2 France

5. Goal - Switzerland 3-2 France

6. Goal - Switzerland 3-3 France

7. Goal - Switzerland 4-3 France

8. Goal - Switzerland 4-4 France

9. Goal - Switzerland 5-4 France

10. Miss - Switzerland 5-4 France

That vital miss at the death? None other than from the right foot of Mbappe who many would have put their money on as one of France's surest bets to find the net in the shootout. 

Cruel twist of fate for Mbappe

You couldn't write it, could you? The player widely tipped to be the best in the world when Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi hang up in their boots is the very star to miss from 12 yards.

If anything, there was a damning aptness to Mbappe seeing his spot-kick denied by Yan Sommer with the Paris Saint-Germain forward having fluffed his lines in time added on. 

However, forget about that for a second because let's sit back and appreciate for a second that we've just witnessed one of the greatest games in the history of the European Championships.

Yes, it might have seen Mbappe miss and France knocked out, but that doesn't mean anything in the grand scheme of an evening that reminded everybody of football's crazy stupid beauty. 

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